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Youth plaintiffs in Hawaii reach historic climate deal

Cars drive down a highway.
Traffic moves along Highway 11 near the airport as viewed opposite Volcanoes National Park on December 12th, 2016, in Hilo, Hawaii. | Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

A group of young plaintiffs reached a historic climate settlement with the state of Hawaii and Hawaii Department of Transportation in a deal that will push the state to clean up tailpipe pollution.

The 13 youth plaintiffs filed suit in 2022 when they were all between the ages of 9 and 18. In the suit, Navahine F. v. Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), they alleged that the state and HDOT had violated their right to “a clean and healthful environment,” which is enshrined in Hawaii’s constitution.

The settlement, reached on Thursday, affirms that right and commits the DOT to creating a plan to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 2045. To hit…

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